Judges 2

Israel Rebuked

1 Now 1the angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to 2Bochim. And he said, "3I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land which I have sworn to your fathers; and I said, '4I will never * break My covenant with you,
2 and as for you, 5you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; 6you shall tear down their altars.' But you have not obeyed * Me; what is this you have done?
3 "Therefore I also said, '7I will not drive them out before * you; but they will become 8as thorns in your sides and their gods will be a snare to you.' "
4 When the angel of the LORD spoke these words to all the sons of Israel, the people lifted up their voices and wept.
5 So they named * that place Bochim; and there they sacrificed to the LORD.

Joshua Dies

6 9When Joshua had dismissed the people, the sons of Israel went each to his inheritance to possess the land.
7 The people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who survived * * Joshua, who had seen all the great work of the LORD which He had done for Israel.
8 Then Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of one hundred and ten.
9 And they buried him in the territory of 10his inheritance in Timnath-heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.
10 All that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who 11did not know the LORD, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel.

Israel Serves Baals

11 Then the sons of Israel did 12evil in the sight of the LORD and served the 13Baals,
12 and 14they forsook the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed * other gods from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed themselves down to them; thus they provoked the LORD to anger.
13 So they forsook the LORD and 15served Baal and the Ashtaroth.
14 16The anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and He gave them into the hands of plunderers who plundered them; and 17He sold them into the hands of their enemies around them, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies.
15 Wherever * they went, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had spoken and 18as the LORD had sworn to them, so that they were severely distressed.
16 19Then the LORD raised up judges who delivered them from the hands of those who plundered them.
17 Yet they did not listen to their judges, for they played the harlot after other gods and bowed themselves down to them. They turned aside quickly from the way 20in which their fathers had walked in obeying the commandments of the LORD; they did not do as their fathers.
18 When the LORD raised up judges for them, 21the LORD was with the judge and delivered them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the LORD was 22moved to pity by their groaning because * of those who oppressed and afflicted them.
19 But it came about when the judge died, that they would turn back and act more corruptly than their fathers, in following * other gods to serve them and bow down to them; they did not abandon their practices or their stubborn ways.
20 23So the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and He said, "Because * this nation has transgressed My covenant which I commanded their fathers and has not listened to My voice,
21 24I also will no longer drive out before * them any of the nations which Joshua left when he died,
22 in order to 25test Israel by them, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk in it as their fathers did, or not."
23 So the LORD allowed those nations to remain, not driving them out quickly; and He did not give them into the hand of Joshua.

Judges 2 Commentary

Chapter 2

The angel of the Lord rebukes the people. (1-5) The wickedness of the new generation after Joshua. (6-23)

Verses 1-5 It was the great Angel of the covenant, the Word, the Son of God, who spake with Divine authority as Jehovah, and now called them to account for their disobedience. God sets forth what he had done for Israel, and what he had promised. Those who throw off communion with God, and have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, know not what they do now, and will have nothing to say for themselves in the day of account shortly. They must expect to suffer for this their folly. Those deceive themselves who expect advantages from friendship with God's enemies. God often makes men's sin their punishment; and thorns and snares are in the way of the froward, who will walk contrary to God. The people wept, crying out against their own folly and ingratitude. They trembled at the word, and not without cause. It is a wonder sinners can ever read the Bible with dry eyes. Had they kept close to God and their duty, no voice but that of singing had been heard in their congregation; but by their sin and folly they made other work for themselves, and nothing is to be heard but the voice of weeping. The worship of God, in its own nature, is joy, praise, and thanksgiving; our sins alone render weeping needful. It is pleasing to see men weep for their sins; but our tears, prayers, and even amendment, cannot atone for sin.

Verses 6-23 We have a general idea of the course of things in Israel, during the time of the Judges. The nation made themselves as mean and miserable by forsaking God, as they would have been great and happy if they had continued faithful to him. Their punishment answered to the evil they had done. They served the gods of the nations round about them, even the meanest, and God made them serve the princes of the nations round about them, even the meanest. Those who have found God true to his promises, may be sure that he will be as true to his threatenings. He might in justice have abandoned them, but he could not for pity do it. The Lord was with the judges when he raised them up, and so they became saviours. In the days of the greatest distress of the church, there shall be some whom God will find or make fit to help it. The Israelites were not thoroughly reformed; so mad were they upon their idols, and so obstinately bent to backslide. Thus those who have forsaken the good ways of God, which they have once known and professed, commonly grow most daring and desperate in sin, and have their hearts hardened. Their punishment was, that the Canaanites were spared, and so they were beaten with their own rod. Men cherish and indulge their corrupt appetites and passions; therefore God justly leaves them to themselves, under the power of their sins, which will be their ruin. God has told us how deceitful and desperately wicked our hearts are, but we are not willing to believe it, until by making bold with temptation we find it true by sad experience. We need to examine how matters stand with ourselves, and to pray without ceasing, that we may be rooted and grounded in love, and that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith. Let us declare war against every sin, and follow after holiness all our days.

Cross References 25

  • 1. Judges 6:11; Judges 13:2-21
  • 2. Judges 2:5
  • 3. Exodus 20:2
  • 4. Genesis 17:7, 8; Leviticus 26:42, 44; Deuteronomy 7:9
  • 5. Exodus 23:32; Deuteronomy 7:2-5
  • 6. Exodus 34:12, 13
  • 7. Joshua 23:13
  • 8. Numbers 33:55
  • 9. Joshua 24:28-31
  • 10. Joshua 19:49
  • 11. Exodus 5:2; 1 Samuel 2:12
  • 12. Judges 3:7, 12; Judges 4:1; Judges 6:1
  • 13. Judges 6:25; Judges 8:33; Judges 10:6
  • 14. Deuteronomy 31:16
  • 15. Judges 10:6
  • 16. Deuteronomy 31:17; Psalms 106:40-42
  • 17. Deuteronomy 28:25; Deuteronomy 32:30
  • 18. Leviticus 26:14-39; Deuteronomy 28:15-68
  • 19. Psalms 106:43-45
  • 20. Judges 2:7
  • 21. Joshua 1:5
  • 22. Deuteronomy 32:36; Psalms 106:44
  • 23. Judges 2:14
  • 24. Josh 23:4, 5, 13
  • 25. Deuteronomy 8:2; Deuteronomy 13:3

Footnotes 7

Chapter Summary


This chapter gives an account of an angel of the Lord appearing and rebuking the children of Israel for their present misconduct, Jud 2:1-5; of their good behaviour under Joshua, and the elders that outlived him, Jud 2:6-10; and of their idolatries they fell into afterwards, which greatly provoked the Lord to anger, Jud 2:11-15; and of the goodness of God to them nevertheless, in raising up judges to deliver them out of the hands of their enemies, of which there are many instances in the following chapter, Jud 2:16-18; and yet that how, upon the demise of such persons, they relapsed into idolatry which caused the anger of God to be hot against them, and to determine not to drive out the Canaanites utterly from them, but to leave them among them to try them, Jud 2:19-23.

Judges 2 Commentaries